Fatal Bus Accidents in Florida
Florida is one of the states that see many fatal bus collisions in comparison to other parts of the country. Due to the prominence of the problem, the Florida Department of Transportation has even ordered a National Center for Transit Research analysis to determine the cause of such accidents and the most effective measures that could potentially diminish the occurrence of fatal crashes.
Fatal Bus Accident Statistics
The latest Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles annual report is for 2015.
The report takes a look at injury and fatality levels by different vehicles that have participated in a crash. As far as buses go, 27,957 passengers in 2015 haven’t sustained any injuries, 1,255 has light injuries, 329 had moderate wounds, and the situation was severe in 79 cases. There was one fatality among passengers and zero deaths among drivers.
The vehicles causing the biggest number of deaths on Florida roads include passenger cars (649 deaths among drivers and 260 deaths among passengers) motorcycles (546 deaths among drivers and 38 among passengers) and sports utility vehicles (SUVs).
As far as fatal collisions go, the total number for the year was 21 among buses in comparison to 1,885 among passenger cars, 622 SUV crashes, 595 involving motorcycles and 555 involving pickup trucks.
The data for 2014 is more or less similar. The number of collisions that caused deaths was 19 (0.42 percent of all accidents). In comparison, there were 1,577 fatal passenger car crashes, 465 motorcycle accidents and 515 collisions involving a pickup truck.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also has thorough reports pertaining to deaths caused by bus collisions in Florida. Some of the latest reports pertain to 2015, 2016 and the first months of 2017:
|Number of Crashes||1,222||1,304||362|
Bureau of Transportation Statistics for 2010 suggest that fatal crashes involving buses were 28 during the year. The number represents 0.8 percent of all collisions that have caused death in the state. The bureau’s report for 2012 provides more or less similar data. There were 18 accidents involving buses during the year, and though the number is smaller, it represents 0.5 percent of all fatalities.
Florida Transit Bus Collisions: The Analysis
As mentioned in the introduction, analysis pertaining to transit bus accidents has been ordered in an attempt to improve the effectiveness of safety measures.
While the report was completed back in 2001, it still provides a lot of valuable information.
Researchers found out that the biggest number of accidents occurs during the winter months and during the night when visibility is limited. A number of trouble spot routes have also been identified.
A few other interesting factors have been pinpointed in the study. Drivers having the least experience were responsible for the biggest number of deadly collisions.
Based on this data, several corrective measures have been suggested. Refresher courses for drivers have been one of the approaches, but the effectiveness didn’t prove to be as significant as expected. The addition of high-density lights on the back of the bus is another possibility that was examined for its ability to reduce nighttime crashes. The addition of such lights contributed to a serious reduction in various types of collisions – sideswipe, rear end collisions and bus being hit by another vehicle. In fact, the decline in sideswipe was 100 percent as a result of a simple light addition to the exterior of the bus rear.
Researchers concluded that while the findings are beneficial regarding increasing transportation safety, there are other important issues to examine. The most crucial ones include driver fatigue, the potential of reflective stripping, safety training courses for drivers and differences between transit and school bus crashes (as well as the possible causes of such discrepancies).